More from Social Media Examiner‘s Social Media Success Summit 2012…

In my last blog post about social media marketing, I shared Jeremy Owyang’s method for approaching social media.

Following this, I attended a seminar with social media expert and author Jason Falls. He asks another important question– What part of your business do you want social media to help you with?

Falls first states that it is important to understand the purpose of strategic planning. He reminds us that without a plan to achieve a specific goal, anything we try to boost sales can wind up costing more to use, rather than helping the company turn a profit. Falls stresses that goals should be singular and should never include the word “and.” He states that a singular focus keeps teams from splitting the goal, causing difficulty in both achieving the goal and measuring the outcome.

Falls suggests 7 Broad Goals of Social Media and the ways in which a company can measure the outcomes:

1) Enhance Branding & Awareness

-Take a poll to measure audience awareness before and after your social media campaign

2) Protect your Reputation

-Take note of the positive and negative mentions of your company

– Address these mentions and measure the amount of negative conversations that have been mitigated

3) Enhance Public Relations

– Measure the size of stakeholder groups, as well as the activity enacted by the stakeholder groups

– Measure the amount of successful placements

– Note the sentiment of the brand before/during/after the campaign

4) Build Community

– Size of community increase/decrease after the campaign

– The activity of the community

– Purchase/trial/conversion

– Dollar value versus on-community member

– Is your community recommending you?

5) Enhance Customer Service

– Measure the number of issues handled with social media

– Have a concrete number of customers retained/up-sold

– Know the cost savings from diverting issues from call center costs

– Keep track of, and make a clear scale of customer satisfaction ratings, as well as the positive or negative mentions of your company online

6) Facilitate Research and Development

-Keep track of the suggestions from customers as well as number of product ideas

-Know the amount of  revenue from product ideas

– Know the number of features on these ideas and insights actually gleaned by product teams

7) Drive Sales and Leads

-Know the amount of sales and leads from blogs

-Know the sales leads from social network activity as well as the revenue from those leads

-Keep track of the social media customers versus traditional customer

Falls gives examples of how companies have been able to get the results they want in regard to the goals listed above. Each company had a different approach, and used a broad spectrum of social media platforms to achieve those results. He left us with one final piece of advice– Don’t think that you can always get a dollar and cent measurement of the use of social media. Social media isn’t going to pay you. However, new customers, as well as customers who share your product or service with their friends and family, will pay you.

~Alex Hodges, WordPop PR Coordinator